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Friday, March 25, 2011

“General Hospital” Fans Outraged by Death of 4-year-old Jake 'GH' VIDEO

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“General Hospital” Fans Outraged By Shocking Death [VIDEO]
Mar 25 2011
 by: Angie Rentmeester 
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General Hospital” fans were outraged and took to the message boards after the ABC soap opera decided to kill off 4-year-old Jake Webber after his character was removed from life support. His character was left brain-dead after being run over by a hit and run driver in Port Charles.
While deaths have become a standard in the world of daytime television, but it’s almost rare when they decide to kill off a young child.
This isn’t exactly the first time “General Hospital” did something shocking. Back in 1994, Tony and Bobbie’s daughter, BJ, was involved in a horrible car accident that also left her brain-dead. Her heart was than transplanted into her 6-year-old cousin, Maxie.
One fan wrote on abc.com:
“OMG GH! You killed a kid!”
 User Miztee256 wrote:

    “I am soooo done with GH for killing off Jake. There was no reason to do that and I will not watch GH anymore.”

Even though Jake’s death was shocking and heartbreaking, he will be saving the life of fellow Port Charles resident, Josslyn Jacks. Carly and Jasper’s cancer-stricken daughter will be receiving Jake’s kidney.

Other “General Hospital” fans were praising the cast for their performance and were even OK with the writer’s killing of the character.  While some didn’t seem bothered by it, other fans were completely disgusted.

For those who don’t watch, Jake wandered away from the house and was hit by a car and the soap will start their search for the person who hit Jake.

User carolegenni wrote:

    “Hey! Isn’t ABC a Disney Network? Aren’t they supposed to be about ‘family?’ Great job killing off kids and destroying families on General Hospital!”

User ays786 added:
“I am very disappointed that the Disney Corporation has financed a soap opera …  which portrays children who are victims of violence. Any hope I had of being able to watch this show again died along with Jake Spencer.”
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Just Call Me Lindsay, Lohan Dropping Her Last Nane

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Lindsay Lohan Dropping Her Last Name

Mar 25 2011 
by: Angie Rentmeester 
http://www.indyposted.com/

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Madonna’s done it, so have Oprah, Cher and Beyonce. Now Lindsay Loan is looking to do it. Lohan is reportedly dropping her last name, her mom, Dina Lohan, confirmed with PopEater today.
Dina, 48, said:
“Lindsay is dropping the Lohan and just going by Lindsay. Plus, me and [younger daughter] Ali will be officially changing our last names back to my maiden name, Sullivan.”
An inside told PopEater:
“So many of the greatest people in showbiz are known by just their first name. Look at Oprah and Beyonce. Now you can add Lindsay to that list…And it’s a way for them all to start over. No one in the family want anything to do with Lindsay’s father [Michael Lohan] anymore and that includes sharing a last name.”
We’ll have to wait until April to see if she’ll be able to use her new moniker for a new movie. This is when a judge will decide if the 24-year-old actress will go to trial for her theft case in which she was accused of stealing a necklace valued at $2,500 from a store in Venice, Calif.
If convicted, she could face up to three years in prison with additional jail time if a judge feels that Lohan violated her terms of probation from Lohan’s 2007 DUI case.

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Why Nuclear Will Never Be the Answer

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Doomsday Machine: Why Nuclear Will Never Be the Answer

Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
March 25, 2011
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What the atomic energy lobby calls The Nuclear Renaissance is advance warning of uncontrolled and runaway financial and economic disaster.

This adds on to vastly growing risks of industrial disaster like we have witnessed this month in Japan, nuclear weapons proliferation, and reactors turned into and used as massive Dirty Bombs while their wastes are recycled as Depleted Uranium ordnance.
The so-called ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ could or might see as many as 225 new large-size reactors built in as many as 45 countries, through 2010-2020. World uranium demand – already at least 20 percent more than uranium mine supply – could almost double in the same period.
Presently almost unknown to the public and ignored by the media, national security and even the concept and present reality of nation states is under threat. Nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons production, and financial disaster triggered by the nuclear subprime asset bubble now under way are direct challenges to the existence of nation states. Nuclear power has ever less credibility as its costs spiral upward, pumping ever growing amounts of taxpayers’ money to feed the beast in every country treading the nuclear path, as is shown by any rational analysis of the nuclear industry’s energy and economic facts. But the real strategic role of civil nuclear power, despite it being able to yield nuclear weapons in “a few screwdriver turns”, is now economic and financial.

DOOMSDAY MACHINE: The risks of nuclear power far outweigh the benefits.
Fast increasing numbers of civil reactors, uranium mines, fuel fabrication and reprocessing plants, waste fuel centres and “plutonium repositories” across the world have generated a surge of political and corporate, economic and finance sector elite support. Nuclear power is the new “No Alternative”, shading down and crowding out the reality that massive volumes and quantities of nuclear materials, in any country, destroy all reality of national defense and the nation state.
The choice is simple: nuclear power or national defence. In the coming decade we will have to choose between the atom and the nation. Conventional war, like conventional nation states is not credible in a world with 45 or more nuclear power using states. Due to certain assured massive destruction of the economy when, or if , large reactors and nuclear installation are hit… conventional war is finished. Do our political leaders know this, as they sign ever bigger reactor and nuclear fuel contracts with a growing list of low income Emerging economy countries? How many politicians are factoring this into their decision making?

CHERNOBYL – THE FINAL SOLUTION
The world’s civil nuclear power system is a giant-sized Chernobyl-type dirty bomb offering no energy security or freedom from oil. Quantities of plutonium produced worldwide by civil reactors are already about 22 tons a year – enough for more than 2000 Hiroshima-sized bombs every year. By 2020 this could rise to 3500 per year. Oil saving due to the atom is negligible.
In a fast growing number of countries both the size and complexity of nuclear installations is also rising fast. Reactor building costs and prices are exploding, with the inflation rate in 2010 close to 25 percent per year. Only a few types of reactor, especially underground or ‘hardened’ military reactors can resist a wide-body airplane crashing on them. Their costs are astronomic as shown by the European EPR, whose proud boast is that it could also resist a wide-body plane crash – at fantastic cost. But almost no reactor of any kind will resist entirely conventional ballistic missiles, conventional artillery shells, conventional anti-tank and anti-building munitions, and infantry launched or drone launched missiles. The reality is inescapable. All are totally vulnerable to operator error and IT safety system failures. Every single one of them is a potential Doomsday Machine.
Reactors will also not resist worst-case seismic damage, as the Earth’s tectonic systems shift to a new long-term period of cooling climate and intensified volcanic activity, driving increased numbers of major seismic events. Due to the world’s uranium supply and fuel reprocessing system being totally fossil energy dependent, the vaunted claim of “Low Carbon Nuclear” is more of a marketing myth than the Friendly Atom.

NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE
We are promised or threatened the so-called Nuclear Renaissance. This is shorthand for a return to the rates of reactor orders and completions closer to those of the nuclear industry’s previous heydays and high times, dating from the first Oil Shock of the 1970s and by overdrive into the early 1980s. At the time and for 10 years one new reactor came on line every 17 days. Uranium prices and reactor construction costs exploded. The result was simple: the nuclear asset bubble imploded. The industry downsized, restructured, forced mergers took place, tens of thousands of jobs were lost – and Big Government, that is the taxpayers, paid for the party.
Today, like the 1970s, nuclear power is again promoted as the fast track to energy independence - and for delivering supposedly Low Carbon energy to fight global warming from burning fossil fuels. To be sure, the rationale is bizarre: nuclear energy claims to  deliver energy security, but there is massive import dependence for uranium supply in nearly all nations using civil nuclear power systems. This is perhaps because uranium exporter countries are not yet seen as “terror supporting regimes”, not yet accused of overcharging for their uranium exports. This will soon change as uranium prices spike up to unknown peaks.

ATOMIC SURPRISES ARE BAD SURPRISES
Nuclear boomers dream in print they have the Final Solution to all safety risks, cost limits and uranium fuel shortages, that might or could bar mankind’s route to nuclear powered Universal Prosperity. This essentially cornucopian dream – very ironically – came from the fusion of two supposedly total opposite world views. In the deep Cold War period of extreme American defence of capitalism, and extreme Soviet defence of totalitarian state control, through the 40 years from the late 1940s until 1989, both regimes placed all their military faith in nuclear weapons. Both also linked civil and military nuclear power, then fused them into a nuclear technological utopia. This ideology-spanning facet of the all nuclear solution, joining civil and military in a seamless web of myth, makes it unsurprising that China and India, and other big states, or would-be big states of today are fully embarked in the Nuclear Renaissance.

INTERDEPENDENT: Both civil and military nuclear industries are joined at the hip.
Certainly for the Big 5 UN Security Council declared nuclear weapons states, any pretence that civil nuclear, and military nuclear are not 100% linked and totally interdependent, is a complete farce. All the Big 5 Security Council states started their nuclear story with a fevered race to develop nuclear weapons, then made a few screwdriver turns to spin-off and start their civil nuclear systems - always with fantastic government cash subsidies. Despite this, by a strange form of mass schizophrenia among the political elites of these states, nuclear power is imagined to be cheap and economic – and of course… safe !
Yet, the reality of dirty bomb capability for each and every large sized reactor anywhere on earth, is stoically denied. So as we wait patiently in the shadow of the fallout cloud, the myth of the nation state continues.
The permanent denial of civil and military nuclear power being one and the same has likely favoured the most proliferative-possible, most vulnerable-possible civil nuclear systems worldwide, both in the “old nuclear” countries, and in the 15 or more new nuclear states that the Nuclear Renaissance may bring. In any case, the historic reality of international wars started by one nation and fought against another nation is now obsolete. Any nation with sizeable nuclear installations on its home territory is vulnerable to devastating attack using entirely conventional, non-nuclear weapons of the type possessed by dozens of states and nations, today.
This reality hides the awesome question: who will look after nuclear power using states when they have suffered economic, political and social meltdown in civil, international, or terror wars ? Who can step in to prevent worst-case damage all the nation’s nuclear plants and fuel facilities?
If we ask the key question: “Can we be certain this awesome challenge is understood by our political elites and the opinion formers who control our press and media ?”, and still all we hear is silence, there is no answer.


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VIDEOS ADDRESSING NUCLEAR POWER RISKS
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Twitter Posts Costs Man Prison Time in Missouri, St. Charles County Case


Reginald P. Hicks
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Twitter posts send man to prison in St. Charles County case

BY SHANE ANTHONY
post-dispatch.com  
Friday, March 25, 2011
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ST. CHARLES COUNTY • Posts to the Twitter social networking site the day after a former Fort Zumwalt West High School assistant coach was placed on probation for a sex offense have landed him in prison.
Reginald P. Hicks Jr., 25, formerly of Lake Saint Louis, pleaded guilty Dec. 3 on nine counts of statutory sodomy and two counts of statutory rape and was placed on probation. He admitted having sex with a 16-year-old girl in November 2009.
His probation conditions prohibited posts on MySpace, Facebook or any websites used by children younger than 18. He was not to access the Internet from any cell phone or use a computer without approval from his probation officer.
But after the hearing, Hicks continued to post to a Twitter account under the name "CoachHicks19," prosecutors said. O'Fallon, Mo., police detectives found the posts, and prosecutors filed a motion on Dec. 10 to revoke Hicks' probation.
In a few tweets from Dec. 4, Hicks was upset with his treatment in court. One entry, filed with the court, said: "White guy before me got the 'You've got a bright future ahead of you' speech. I got the 'you aint (expletive)' speech. #BlatantRacism"
On Thursday, Circuit Judge Ted House, who had followed the terms of a plea agreement in placing Hicks on probation, revoked his probation and sentenced him to seven years in prison, Prosecutor Jack Banas said.
"He actually went out and did the opposite of what he was told not to do," Banas said.

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Gas Prices Spike Overnight in Missouri...$ 3.459 in Hermann

Hermann Fuel Mart
Photo used by permission.
By Dick Schaefer (Hermann Hearsay).
LINK: http://hermannhearsay.blogspot.com/
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Gas prices spike overnight in St. Louis area

BY JOEL CURRIER
post-dispatch.com 
Friday, March 25, 2011
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ST. LOUIS • The price per gallon of gasoline rose 6 cents or more across the St. Louis area overnight, an upward trend that could continue into the summer driving season.
The price for a gallon of regular fuel in St. Louis increased to an average $3.525 overnight, according to AAA auto club's daily fuel gauge report. Yesterday's average in St. Louis was $3.458 per gallon.
In East St. Louis, where Illinois' higher taxes push the price up compared to Missouri, today's average is $3.643 per gallon, up from $3.583 on Thursday.
The national average is $3.561. Last March, the national average price was $2.813.
Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA Missouri, said several factors are likely driving prices upward: rising demand, conversion from winter to summer fuel and instability in Libya and Japan.
The average in Missouri ($3.400 per gallon of regular) is still among the lowest in the nation. Only New Jersey and Wyoming have cheaper gas, AAA says. The price has already hit $4 in California.
The price of oil was trading today at about $105 per barrel; Right says rising gas prices are likely to continue climbing this year.
"The fundamentals seem to be in place for the prices we're lookng at right now to continue to ratchet up," Right said.


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Huckabee Has Slight Edge GALLUP POLL

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Huckabee Has Slight Edge, Palin Down, in GOP '12 Preferences
Romney, Palin would tie if Huckabee does not run
by Jeffrey M. Jones
 March 25, 2011
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PRINCETON, NJ -- Mike Huckabee tops a large list of potential GOP presidential candidates in current support for the party's 2012 nomination, with 19% of Republicans saying they are most likely to back him. This gives Huckabee a slight edge over Mitt Romney (15%). Sarah Palin is now at 12% after receiving 16% support in three prior Gallup polls. Newt Gingrich is the only other potential candidate who registers double-digit support. Sixteen percent of Republicans currently have no preference.
Support for Potential Republican Candidates for President in 2012, Among Republicans and Republican Leaners, Trend, September 2010-March 2011
The March 18-22 poll of more than 1,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents was conducted as the field of candidates has yet to emerge. Since Gallup's February measurement of nomination preferences, Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty have taken formal steps toward announcing their candidacies but have stopped short of doing so. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is reportedly going to formalize her candidacy by the summer.
There continues to be speculation about the leading candidates' plans. Most political experts believe Romney will eventually enter the race, but questions remain about whether Huckabee and Palin will want to abandon their lucrative media careers to pursue the presidency.
The poll sought to assess how the race might look if either Huckabee or Palin, or both, ultimately do not run, by asking Republicans to name their second and (in some instances) third choices for the nomination. This information was then used to simulate how the candidates would fare under various scenarios.
Romney, Palin Lead if Huckabee Declines to Run
If Huckabee were not a candidate, most of his support would go to the top three remaining candidates. Romney and Palin would essentially tie for the lead, at 19% and 17%, respectively, with Gingrich getting a bump in support to 13%.
2012 Republican Nomination Preferences, if Huckabee Votes Are Excluded, March 2011
Huckabee Strengthens Position With Palin out of Race
Were Huckabee to run but not Palin, his current advantage over Romney would expand to seven points (23% to 16%), compared with the four-point edge he now has with all candidates in the race. Romney's support would essentially be flat with Palin out of the field.
2012 Republican Nomination Preferences, if Palin Votes Are Excluded, March 2011
Romney Emerges if Huckabee, Palin Decline to Run
If neither Huckabee nor Palin runs, Romney and Gingrich benefit most, with Romney holding a 22% to 16% edge over Gingrich. No other candidate would receive double-digit support under this scenario, though several minor candidates would get slight increases in their support compared with what it is with all candidates running. Notably, nearly one in four Republicans would have no preference if the field did not include Huckabee and Palin.
2012 Republican Nomination Preferences, if Palin and Huckabee Votes Are Excluded, March 2011
In addition to Palin and Huckabee, Donald Trump is another high-profile figure who could enter the race. Though he has said he is only considering running, 1% of poll respondents volunteer his name as their first choice, and enough mention him as a second choice to increase his share to 2% if either Huckabee or Palin do not run.
Implications
There is no clear front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination, which is a departure from what it has been in years prior to a presidential election. Huckabee may be the closest thing to a front-runner at this point, but he has yet to hold a statistically significant lead in any survey. But his candidacy, as well as that of Sarah Palin, is far from assured.
Romney would apparently benefit more from Huckabee's sitting out the race than from Palin's doing so, and he would move to the front of the field (though not by a statistically significant margin) if neither Huckabee nor Palin runs.
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FBI Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending March 25, 2011

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Washington, D.C. March 25, 2011
  • FBI National Press Office
  1. Los Angeles: ICE Attorney Sentenced for Taking Bribes from Immigrants Seeking Status in U.S.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas was sentenced to 212 months in prison for taking nearly $500,000 in bribes from immigrants who were promised immigration benefits that would allow them to remain in the United States. Details
  2. Detroit: Man Arrested in Connection with Explosive Components Found at Federal Building

    Gary John Mikulich was arrested on charges relating to explosive components found at the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit on February 26, 2011. Details
  3. Miami: Charges in Conspiracy to Manipulate Stock of Fortune 500 Company
    Barry Minkow was charged with conspiracy to manipulate the stock price of Lennar Corporation, a former Fortune 500 company doing business in Miami-Dade. Details
  4. New York: Seven Defendants Charged in Multi-Million-Dollar Lottery Telemarketing Fraud Scheme Plead Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court

    Seven individuals, all residents of Israel, pled guilty to their participation in a lottery telemarketing fraud scheme through which they stole approximately $2 million from elderly victims in the United States. Details
  5. Memphis: Twenty Charged in Mid-State Drug Conspiracy

    Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 19 of 20 defendants charged in a criminal complaint with participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana. Details
  6. Atlanta: Two Bank Execs Indicted in Georgia in Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Conspiracy

    Mark A. Connor and Clayton A. Coe, both former top officers of FirstCity Bank, were charged with a variety of offenses, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud in connection with misconduct at FirstCity Bank in the years before the bank's seizure by state and federal authorities on March 20, 2009. Details
  7. Chicago: Disbarred Chicago Lawyer Guilty in Federal Mortgage Fraud Case

    Lorie Westerfield was convicted on fraud charges in connection with her role in facilitating staged real estate transactions involving Chicago homes in 2003. Details
  8. Boston: 14 Charged with Tax Violations Involving First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Fraud

    Fourteen individuals were charged with committing various crimes arising from their abuse of the federal government's stimulus program by filing false claims with the IRS in which they fraudulently claimed the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Details
  9. Baltimore: Former California Man Sentenced to Prison in Scheme to Defraud the Baltimore Washington Medical Center

    John Milisitz was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Milisitz wass also ordered to pay restitution of $380,000. Details
  10. San Francisco: Former Executive of California Aftermarket Auto Lights Distributor Agrees to Plead Guilty in Price-Fixing Conspiracy

    A former executive of a California aftermarket auto lights distributor agreed to plead guilty in connection with his participation in a global conspiracy to fix the prices of aftermarket auto lights. Details


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SURPRISE!!! Japan reactor core may be leaking radioactive material, official says UPDATE: Japan Radiation Spreading To More U.S. States, Fukushima Plant Fallout has Drifted 5000 Miles UPDATE: Japan ‘Estimating’ Radiation Fallout, Not Actually Measuring


Company Supplied High Tech Protective  Foot Gear?????
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Japan reactor core may be leaking radioactive material, official says

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 25, 2011
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Tokyo (CNN) -- Authorities in Japan raised the prospect Friday of a likely breach in the all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a large-scale release of radiation.
Contaminated water likely seeped through the containment vessel protecting the reactor's core, said Hidehiko Nishiyama of the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
Three employees working near the No. 3 reactor Thursday stepped into water that had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for a nuclear plant, Nishiyama said. An analysis of the contamination suggests "some sort of leakage" from the reactor core, signaling a possible break of the containment vessel that houses the core, he said.
The workers have been hospitalized and work inside the reactor building has been halted, according to the agency.
Work inside two other reactor buildings also had to stop and workers had to be pulled back Friday after the discovery of high levels of radiation in water at those locations, a Tokyo Electric Power Company official said Saturday. Water is still being pumped into the containment vessels, the utility official said.
Nuclear power experts cautioned against reading too much into the newest development, saying the workers exposed to radioactive water might not suffer injuries any more serious than a sunburn.
Moreover, evidence of radioactivity in the water around the plant is not necessarily surprising given the amount of water sprayed onto and pumped into the reactors, said Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts institute of Technology.
Japan's nuclear emergency
Children swept away from school
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Anderson family aims to help Japan
"I am not particularly alarmed," he said.
The reactor thought to be leaking contaminated water is the same one cited in the dramatic evacuation last week of a small crew of workers who had stayed behind after the plant's owner pulled most employees from the area. The workers were pulled back March 16 after white smoke began billowing from the reactor and radiation levels spiked.
At the time, the Japanese nuclear safety agency said it suspected damage to No. 3's containment vessel, but a government spokesman the next day said there had been no indication of a "major breach of containment."
That reactor is of particular concern, experts have said, because it is the only one at the plant to use a combination of uranium and plutonium fuel, called MOX, that is considered to be more dangerous than the pure uranium fuel used in other reactors.
Plant workers were also carefully watching the plant's No. 1 reactor, concerned that an increase in pressure noted inside that reactor could be a troublesome sign. Earlier, buildups of hydrogen gas had driven up pressure that led to explosions at three of the nuclear plant's reactors, including the No. 1 unit.
Nishiyama conceded that "controlling the temperature and pressure has been difficult" for that reactor, which on Friday had been declared stable.
The hospitalized employees were working to reconnect power to the No. 3 reactor building when they encountered water that was about 5 inches (15 centimeters) deep. Water rushed over the boots of two workers, who may have received what is called a "beta burn." The third worker had taller boots but was hospitalized as a precaution, according to Nishiyama.
The men were exposed to the water for 40 to 50 minutes, said Tokyo Electric, which owns the plant. The workers may have ignored alarms on devices intended to measure radiation levels, believing the readings to be wrong, said the International Atomic Energy Agency, citing Japanese authorities.
The two workers whose skin was exposed to the contaminated water had the highest levels of radiation recorded so far, the power company said.
One, in his 30s, was exposed to 180.7 millisieverts and the other, in his 20s, tested at 179.37 millisieverts.
Nishiyama said the third man -- who was exposed to 173 millisieverts but at first did not go to the hospital because his boots were high enough to prevent water from touching his skin -- has also gone to the same research hospital out of "an abundance of caution."
Beta rays given off by radioactive substances don't penetrate deeply into materials, including flesh, said Nolan Hertel, a professor nuclear engineering at Georgia Tech. Consequently, the danger is relatively limited, he said.
"Basically, a beta burn would be akin to a bad sunburn," he said.
Some 17 people have been exposed to 100 or more millisieverts of radiation since the plant's crisis began two weeks ago following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck.
A person in an industrialized country is naturally exposed to 3 millisieverts of radiation a year.
But Japan's Health Ministry recently raised the maximum level of exposure for a person working to address the crisis at the nuclear plant to a rate of 250 millisieverts per year from the previous 100-millisievert standard.
In the Fukushima Prefecture where the plant is located, officials had screened 87,813 people for radiation exposure as of Thursday, NISA said in a news release. Of those 98 people had tested above limits for exposure, but once their clothes were removed and other measures taken, the exposure levels dropped and there was no effect on health.
The agency also said screeners have examined thyroid glands of 66 children ranging in age from 1 to 15 and found that the "level of exposure of no problem."
The thyroid gland, particularly in children, can readily absorb radiation, health experts say.
It's not entirely clear where the contaminants in the water came from, according to Nishiyama. But he said that based on the composition of the radioactive material in the water, the likely source appears to be the reactor core and not the open-air spent fuel pool onto which workers have sprayed tons of water in recent days in an effort to keep it cool.
He said it if the water is from the reactor core, the problem may not be a crack in containment vessel, but rather seepage from vents or valves. The containment vessel is still holding pressure, he said, a sign that it may not be cracked.
The incident raised questions about radiation control measures at the plant as 536 people -- including government authorities and firefighters -- continued working there Friday, according to an official with Tokyo Electric.
The high measure prompted a top official with Nishiyama's agency to urge Tokyo Electric to "improve its radiation management measures."
Workers are undertaking various measures to prevent the further release of radioactive substances into the air and beyond.
Nishiyama said officials hope to start pumping in fresh water -- rather than the corrosive seawater they have been using -- to cool the spent-fuel pool at the No. 1 reactor and other locations.
Such pools have nuclear fuel rods that can emit radiation if the water that normally surrounds them leaks out or boils off, which is more likely to happen without any functional cooling system in place.
Switching to fresh water, instead of seawater, is also a priority for the No. 2 reactor's core (as well as for its spent fuel pool), Nishiyama said. The aim is to prevent further corrosion and damage inside, which may be worsened by the buildup of salt.
A U.S. military barge loaded with fresh water to help cool the reactors left Yokosuka Navy Base at 11 a.m., said Jose Schmitt, commander of Fleet Activities at Yokosuka. A Japanese ship will escort the barge to the Fukushima plant; U.S. personnel are not involved in the escort or distribution of the water, according to Maj. Joseph Macri, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Japan.
The U.S. military assistance follows a request by Japanese government and utility authorities for large amounts of fresh water.
Beyond the seawater/saltwater issue, water in and around the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors had "high radiation levels," Nishiyama said Friday -- though not as high as that of the No. 3 unit.
Thursday's incident has further made the latter reactor a prime focus, and Nishiyama said Friday that "radiation levels are high" in some locales near that unit.
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Chernobyl-Style Yellow Rain Causes Panic In Japan

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
March 24, 2011

Radioactive yellow rain that fell in Tokyo and surrounding areas last night caused panic amongst Japanese citizens and prompted a flood of phone calls to Japan’s Meteorological Agency this morning, with people concerned that they were being fed the same lies as victims of Chernobyl, who were told that yellow rain which fell over Russia and surrounding countries after the 1986 disaster was merely pollen, the same explanation now being offered by Japanese authorities.
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“After two days of rain in Tokyo I woke up to a thick coating of this yellow stuff all over my car. What looks like a glare between the glass and the body of the car is actually pollen. My first thought was ewe! Radioactive sludge from Fukushima, but no,” states the comment associated with this You Tube clip.


“The (Japan Meteorological) agency received more than 200 inquiries Thursday morning about yellowish residue left on roofs and elsewhere by the rain, stirring concerns that radioactive substances had fallen after accidents caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami at a nuclear power plant around 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo,” reports Japan Today.

Officials later suggested the discoloration was caused by air-borne pollen falling with the rain. “The JMA believes the yellow patches are pollen, but has yet to confirm this,” reports the Wall Street Journal, adding that the JMA received over 280 calls after residents in the Kanto region discovered yellow powder on the ground.

“A health official at the Tokyo metropolitan government also said there is a possibility that the rain contained radioactivity but not at a level to have had adverse effects on people’s health,” adds the Japan Today report.

Given the fact that Japanese authorities have been habitually deceptive about the Fukushima crisis from start to finish, assurances that the yellow powder was merely a result of air-borne pollen particles are dubious at best. With people living in Tokyo already being told that tap water is unsafe to drink, along with contaminated vegetables and milk from certain areas near Fukushima, the fact that they were panicked by yellow rain is unsurprising.



Although pollen can turn rain a yellow color, the fact that the phenomenon occurred a couple of hundred kilometers south of the radiation-spewing Fukushima nuclear plant has stoked alarm, and understandably so given the fact that victims of Chernobyl nuclear fallout in 1986 were also told by authorities that yellow rain was harmless pollen, when in fact it was deadly radioactive contamination.

A University of California Daily Bruin article entitled “Remembering Chernobyl,” documents how children in Belarus happily splashed around in puddles of yellow rain having been assured by Russian authorities that it was merely pollen, when in fact it was a toxic mixture of radioactivity that had been blasted from the Chernobyl plant 80 miles away.
Thinking back to 20 years ago, it’s the splashing in yellow rainwater that Antonina Sergieff vividly recalls.
“We all jumped in the puddles with the yellow stuff. … You don’t see (it in) the air, it doesn’t materialize. But when you see the yellow dust, you see radiation,” Sergieff said.
When these elements first reached Sergieff 20 years ago, they came in the form of yellow rain.
It was not long after that residents in her hometown knew it wasn’t simply “pollen” – which is what government officials assured them, she said.
The effects of this “pollen” soon confirmed that those puddles of yellow rain contained something far more sinister, namely iodine-131, caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239.

“Soon, people started losing their hair, pictures of deformed animals sprouted up in independent newspapers, and incidences of cancer in Belarus skyrocketed, Sergieff said. According to the U.N. brief, cases of breast cancer in Belarus doubled between 1988 and 1999, among other increases.”

With levels of radiation emitted by Fukushima now approaching those spewed out by the blast at Chernobyl, as the establishment media bizarrely pretends that the crisis is all but over, seawater samples taken around 330 meters south of the plant confirm that levels of radioactive iodine released are the highest yet recorded.

As we have highlighted, despite UN and World Health Organization studies that claim Chernobyl led to a maximum of 9,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of radiation sickness, more contemporary studies have shown that nearly a million people have been killed from cancers caused by the disaster over the course of the last 25 years.

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Fukushima Radiation Spreading To More U.S. States

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
March 24, 2011

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Images from inside the plant at Fukushima.
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Radiation from the ongoing disaster in Japan is spreading throughout the United States, and while the EPA says the levels are not dangerous, it also admits that some of its radiation-tracking air monitors may not even be working.

Colorado and Oregon are the latest states to report detection of radioactive particles that have drifted over the North Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima plant, some 5000 miles away.

The EPA announced late yesterday that small amounts of iodine-131, a radioactive form of iodine, has been detected by monitors at Grand Junction, Denver, and Colorado Springs in Colorado.

Iodine-131 was also picked up yesterday by monitors in Portland, Oregon.

Hawaii, California and in Washington State previously reported finding trace amounts of radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium.

Three air monitors in California at San Francisco, Riverside and Anaheim, as well as one monitor in Seattle, have identified the isotopes and other radioactive particles.

EPA officials, as well as local public environmental health authorities, have dismissed the notion that there is any serious health threat from the findings.

“Our finding is consistent with findings in Washington and California. We have expected to find trace amounts of the isotopes released from the Japanese plant. There is no health risk,” Gail Shibley, administrator of Oregon’s Office of Environmental Public Health, Oregon Public Health Division, said in a statement.

“The levels we’re measuring are extremely low,” Mike Bandrowski, manager of EPA radiation programs in San Francisco, said in an interview Wednesday. “They’re a fraction of natural background radiation. People should not be concerned.”

“The radiation levels detected on the filters from California and Washington monitors are hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern.” an EPA statement also suggested.

However, earlier this week, the EPA suggested that some of the air-monitors it is using to obtain radiation readings are “undergoing quality review”.

Out of a total of 124 stationary air-radiation monitors across the country, 22 were described as not working and listed as out of service, according to Ronald Fraass, director of the EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama.

Out of a total of 18 air monitors in California, Oregon and Washington state, the areas of the US most at risk from any spreading radiation, the EPA says 8 are not functioning.

“If a monitor in one area is being repaired, EPA’s network will still be able to detect any fluctuation in background radiation levels,” Brendan Gilfillan, an EPA spokesman, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.

As we reported earlier this week, authorities, and even the president himself, first claimed that any radiation from the stricken nuclear plant would completely dissipate, and would not reach the US at all.

Those predictions have proven completely inaccurate as the mainland United States has been blanketed with radioactive Xenon 133 particles and is to be exposed to more dangerous caesium-137 particles.

Health authorities have gone from ambivalently telling Americans not to worry about the situation, to actively discouraging them from obtaining protective potassium iodide pills.

In practically every news article covering the detection of radiation inside the US, the following EPA statement has been quoted:

“In a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources like rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what we have detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels we’re seeing coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a roundtrip international flight.”

Earlier in the week, nuclear energy critic and author Hirose Takashi wrote about how asinine this type of statement is:

Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour. With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means. All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this?

 READ MORE
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Online Geiger Counter Nuclear Radiation Detector Map

Are your friends panicked by media coverage of the event? Share this page so they can see things are currently normal.

LINK: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/RadMap/map.html

Typical background radiation levels for most of the USA are in the 5 to 28 uR/hr range.

Readings are in uR/hr for Cs137/Co60

Only detectors with readings in the last 24 hours are displayed
Note that these are generally run by individuals, and not all readings may be accurate. Do not panic because you see a high reading. Someone could be getting invalid readings.
Also note that readings do fluctuate over time, this is normal for geiger counters. See Variations in Geiger Counter Readings
Treat this for information purposes only, do not make safety decisions based upon it.
Today is: 2011-03-24, and the time is 01:33:13 UTC.

Are your friends panicked by media coverage of the event? Share this page so they can see things are currently normal.

LINK: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/RadMap/map.html

Typical background radiation levels for most of the USA are in the 5 to 28 uR/hr range. Readings can be higher for brief periods of time due to normal variations in radiation levels. They can also be consistently higher for areas at high elevations such as Colorado, or with larger natural deposits of uranium, thorium, radon, etc. 

_________________________________________________________________________ Japanese only ‘estimating’ radiation, not actually measuring

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Admits: ‘We’re Not Able to Measure the Amount of Radiation Coming from Power Plant’

Aaron Dykes
Infowars.com
March 23, 2011
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In an another astounding clip in the wake of Japan’s nuclear power plant crisis, Yukio Edano, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, admits that they are not actually measuring radiation levels at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant (and cannot accurately do so), but are instead only “estimating” the radiation via the use of a computer simulation model.
This is a fresh admission piling on top of what has already been a cover-up of massive proportions, and coincides with his warning today that infants should not drink the tap water in the surrounding Tokyo area because levels of radioactive iodine are too high. Despite the lack of accurate measurements, the Japan Nuclear Agency reported the highest levels of radiation yet at Fukushima reactor No. 2, as well as ’13 sightings’ of neutron beams. Radiation is reportedly 1,600 times normal levels.
Clip from NHK News in Japan and aired on CNN:
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.Clip archived via the dedicated work of MOX News.com

It was clear on March 14 that such a cover-up was underway, as Japanese officials were provably hesitant in admitting that meltdown had occurred, that rods were dangerously exposed, and that further explosions and a possible chain reaction could occur. Further, as recently as March 21, officials were clearly downplaying and covering-up the levels of radiation found in food and sea water. U.S. officials have downplayed radiation levels hitting the West Coast; how long before we discover that things are being covered up state-side as well?
Earlier this week, the TEPCO director dramatically wept, after admitting the radiation levels were enough to kill, and that the true levels of radiation should have been admitted earlier. The Daily Mail writes:

The boss of the company behind the devastated Japanese nuclear reactor today broke down in tears – as his country finally acknowledged the radiation spewing from the over-heating reactors and fuel rods was enough to kill some citizens
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency admitted that the disaster was a level 5, which is classified as a crisis causing ‘several radiation deaths’ by the UN International Atomic Energy.
[...]
He said officials should have admitted earlier how serious the radiation leaks were.
The reliance upon computer simulations to estimate radiation levels is a giveaway that faith in “experts” may be misplaced, and is further eerily reminiscent of the lies and propaganda in the anthropomorphic global warming debate. Recall that it emerged in the Climategate scandals that computer simulation models were artificially-manipulated by politically-motivated “scientists” to scare the public and “hide the decline” by inputting unrealistic data points, in part to create the now-ridiculed hockey-stick model and sell the need for their carbon-cutting agenda. Misleading information in Japan’s nuclear crisis could put many lives directly in jeopardy.
If the Japanese leaders in government, TEPCO and other entities want to restore public confidence and contain the crisis, they must start with honest accounts based on the best available data. Simulation-based estimates are likely insufficient and/or inaccurate, particularly given the long history of Japan’s covering up nuclear disasters.
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Katie Couric Out By June Search is on for Successor Scott Pelley Top Contender


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Katie Couric Plots CBS Exit

by Howard Kurtzwww.thedailybeast.com
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The CBS Evening News anchor is very likely to leave in June, and Scott Pelley is a top contender to replace her—but CBS is looking both within and outside the network, Howard Kurtz reports. Plus, behind the CBS News shakeup.
The search is on for Katie Couric’s successor.
The new CBS News chairman, Jeff Fager, is looking at candidates both within and outside the network, insiders say.
One strong contender if Couric vacates the anchor chair in early June, as now seems almost certain, is veteran newsman Scott Pelley. The 60 Minutes correspondent has long been a favorite of Fager, who doubles as the show’s executive producer. But with Fager taking a methodical approach to his first major decision, Pelley is not a lock. A few short weeks ago, the expectation in the Couric camp—after discussions with top CBS management—was that she would sign a new deal to stay in the anchor’s job through the 2012 elections as she figured out the next phase of her career. But the thinking on both sides has now changed as Couric has aggressively tested the waters—and found substantial interest in her services.
After jumping from the Today show in 2006, Couric realized what many skeptics had predicted, that a 22-minute newscast was confining and gave her little opportunity to showcase her interviewing and ad libbing talents. She is now exploring daytime or syndication deals—including with CBS, whose chairman, Les Moonves, remains a strong supporter. CBS is hopeful about finding a way to keep Couric, but her team is also talking to her former network, NBC; to ABC, and to Time Warner. If she is to launch a syndicated program in the fall of 2012, it would debut in the middle of the general election campaign—and the enormous preparation involved in such a launch would be difficult if her day job was as a network anchor.
Couric told David Letterman this week she has “no idea” what comes next when her five-year deal expires. “I’m figuring out what I want to do,” she said.
Fager has been notably noncommittal about his star anchor, fostering the impression that he is open to a change. When he was named chairman, Fager said he wanted to “spend some time with Katie to find out what she wants to do and what she sees is best for her and what’s best for CBS News.”

Scott Pelley, a Texan who began his career at a station in Lubbock, is the opposite of a celebrity journalist.
CBS might want to go for a bigger name than Pelley, whose prospects were noted by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. But he is familiar to the network’s viewers, and bringing in an outsider has its own set of challenges, as Couric learned while trying to adapt to the CBS culture.
Pelley, a Texan who began his career at a station in Lubbock, is the opposite of a celebrity journalist. A White House correspondent for CBS during the Clinton administration, he landed the first interview with George W. Bush as president-elect. Pelley has reported from around the world, including such war zones as Iraq and Afghanistan. He and his team have won numerous awards, including 15 Emmys, for stories on such subjects as the BP oil spill, civilian deaths in Iraq, and child slavery in India.
. Click Here to Read More.
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Uploaded by on Dec 14, 2008
Scott Pelley reports on the mortgage crisis that's far from over, with a second wave of expected defaults on the way that could deepen the bottom of the U.S. recession.

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Syrian Security Forces Kill Dozens of Protesters

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'Syrian security forces fire on protesters: 23 dead'



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Syrian security forces open fire on protesters


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Gunfire heard in Deraa; 3 reportedly killed in Damascus; demonstrations spread; Syrian information minister says situation "completely calm."

DAMASCUS/DERAA, Syria - Protests spread across Syria on Friday, challenging the rule of the Assad family after their forces killed dozens of demonstrators in the south.

In the southern city of Deraa, which has been in revolt for a week, gunfire and tear gas scattered a crowd of thousands after people lit a fire under a statue of late president Hafez al-Assad, whose son Bashar has ruled since his death in 2000.


Al Jazeera aired comments by a man who said security forces had killed 20 people on Friday in the nearby town of Sanamein.

In the Mouadamieh district of Damascus, security forces killed three people after a crowd confronted a procession of cars driven by supporters of President Bashsar al-Assad, residents said.

Meanwhile, the Syrian information minister said the situation in the country is calm, al-Arabiya television reported.

"The situation is completely calm in all parts of the country, the television station quoted Information Minister Muhsin Bilal as saying.

It was not clear when he was speaking.
 
The United States also weighed in on the situation in Syria, calling on the Syrian government to stop violence against demonstrators and the arrests of human rights activists, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday.

"We strongly condemn the Syrian government's attempts to repress and intimidate demonstrators," he told reporters.

In Hama, in the center of the country, where the elder Assad put down an Islamist revolt in 1982 at a cost of many thousands of lives, residents said people streamed through the streets after weekly prayers chanting "Freedom is ringing out!" -- a slogan heard in uprisings sweeping the rest of the Arab world.

The same chant had earlier marked funeral processions in Deraa for some of the at least 37 people killed on Wednesday, when security agents attacked pro-democracy groups at a mosque. In all, 44 deaths have been reported in the past week in Deraa.

Security men, on alert across the country during weekly prayers at mosques, quickly stifled a small demonstration in the capital Damascus. They hauled away dozens among a crowd of some 200 who chanted their support for people of Deraa.

In Tel, near Damascus, about 1,000 people rallied and chanted slogans calling relatives of Assad "thieves".

Deraa violence

In Deraa itself, a bastion of the Sunni majority which resents the power and wealth amassed by the Alawite elite around Assad, a Reuters correspondent saw thousands rally unchallenged until the sound of heavy gunfire sent them running for cover.

Unrest in Deraa came to a head this week after police detained more than a dozen schoolchildren for writing graffiti against the government. In Damascus, a couple of protests by a few dozen people shouting slogans were broken up last week.
 
Among the targets of the crowd's anger on Friday was Maher al-Assad, a brother of the president and head of the Republican Guard, a special security force, and Rami Makhlouf, a cousin who runs big businesses and is accused by Washington of corruption.

Allied with Shi'ite, non-Arab Iran against the Western powers and neighboring Israel, Assad's Syria sits at the heart of a complex web of conflict in the Middle East.

Click for full Jpost coverage of 



turmoil in the Middle East

His anti-Israel stance has protected him against some of the criticism aimed, for example, at Egypt's deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, who defended a peace treaty with the Jewish state.

Demonstrators in Deraa turned that hostility to Israel against the government on Friday, highlighting the use of force against them and the failure of the Assads to take back the Golan Heights.


. Click Here to Read More.


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